Virgin Australia’s Gold status match has a massive catch

Virgin and Luxury Escapes celebrate their new partnership.

I was very briefly excited when I saw that Virgin Australia is running a “status match” promotion right now. I dropped back to Velocity Silver early this year, and I’d be keen to get Gold back so I can access Virgin lounges when I am flying with the airline.

Unfortunately, this promotion is not going to work for me.

Here’s the deal. Virgin is launching the status match to commemorate its new partnership with Luxury Escapes (which was, until this week, a partner of rival Qantas). As the announcement says:

Velocity is inviting Gold (or higher) frequent flyer members of other Australian airline loyalty programs to apply for a fast-track Velocity Discover Gold trial membership.

Pedant note: in practice, there’s only one other Australian airline loyalty program, Qantas Frequent Flyer. Rex has been promising to launch its own Rex Flyer scheme for some time, but so far no dice.

I have lifetime Gold with Qantas, so in theory I’m eligible. If accepted, I’d get 3 months access to lounges, priority boarding, extra luggage allowance and enhanced seat selection. (Discovery membership doesn’t let you earn additional Velocity Points or Status Credits.)

However, there’s one big catch buried in the details: you’re not eligible if you have held Silver, Gold or Platinum status with Velocity at any time since April 2020.

And that’s me done. I’m currently Silver, which is a hangover from when I hit Velocity Gold in 2021 as part of (you guessed it) a previous status match promotion.

Given the whole pandemic reality that applies over that timeframe, I would be quite surprised if there were too many folks who are now Gold or above with Qantas who weren’t eligible for that previous offer.

In any case, there’s my incentive to check out Virgin’s upgraded aircraft dashed a little.

Images: Virgin Australia

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